CHL Player Rankings: Mathew Barzal poses with team executives after being selected as the number sixteen overall pick to the New York Islanders in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
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CHL Player Rankings: A list of the Top 50 major junior players based solely on statistics, not by reputation or NHL Draft positions.
Welcome to our CHL player rankings. After all, who doesn’t love major junior hockey? Or prospects for that matter? Watching your favorite teams youngsters tearing up their respective leagues is always fun to watch. It leaves us with a sense of excitement that we hope translates to when they become pros.
So in this article, we’re going to be counting down the top 50 in the Canadian Hockey League (CHL). This won’t be done by draft rankings or the prestige behind a players name, but by their statistics over their career using points-per-game as a deciding factor (if players are close in overall points). Goalies will be used by many stats, wins, goals-against-average, save percentage and shutouts.
CHL Player Rankings: Top 50 in Major Junior
G, North Bay (OHL)
Brent Moran has spent five years in the OHL playing for three different organizations. At one point Brent was considered one of the top goalies in the entire league, but in the last few years, he’s slipped. He started with Niagara back in 2012-13 playing until 2015-16 before he was traded to Flint near the start of the season. This year he’s currently playing for North Bay. His career statistics after five years in the league, 62 wins, a 3.77 goals-against-average, a .886 save percentage and two shutouts.
C, Chicoutimi (QMJHL)
Dmitry Zhukenov is an outstanding offensive player who is also strong at both ends of the ice. His competitiveness and drive every game makes him a threat every time he touches the ice. He started his career in the MHL (the equivalent to the AHL) in Russia before coming to North America. He was drafted 10th overall in the CHL import draft by Chicoutimi of the QMJHL. He’s spent the last two seasons with Chicoutimi where he’s notched 81 career points in 87 career games, good enough for a 0.93 points-per-game average.
C, Medicine Hat (WHL)
Mason Shaw was a great player in AAA, averaging way more than a point-per-game. Taken in the second round by Medicine Hat, Mason has played three seasons with the Tigers since then. His first year wasn’t that great, however, only playing 23 games scoring nine points. His next two seasons though he would start to shine. And to date he’s got 111 points in 119 games, sharing a 0.93 points-per-game average with Dmitry Zhukenov.
C, Regina (WHL)
Adam Brooks is currently playing his fifth season in the WHL for the Regina Pats. 2012-13 and 2013-14 weren’t that great to him pointwise, though. During those two years, he had a combined 23 points in 115 games. The next three years, however, he’s been on fire. Adam would post his highest season in 2015-16 with 120 points in only 72 games. This year he’s almost at 50 points and has only played 20 games. His career numbers? 251 points in 271 games, also possessing a 0.93 points-per-game average.
C/LW, Victoriaville (QMJHL)
While playing in the QMAAA system, Alexandre Goulet established himself as a solid two-way forward who can also score. And in 2013-14 he made his debut in the QMJHL after being drafted in the first round by Charlottetown. He would then spend that year and the following two with the Islanders putting up some good numbers. During the 2015-16 season, he was traded to Victoriaville where he scored 41 points in 34 games. So far this year his progression has gone up as he’s put up 43 in 30 games. And during his four-year career so far in the QMJHL, Alexandre has played in 224 games scoring 212 points. That’s good enough to have a 0.95 points-per-game average.
G, Saginaw (OHL)
Another solid CHL goalie, Evan Cormier got his first taste of major junior hockey in 2013-14. During that season he would split it between the North Bay junior team in the NOJHL and the North Bay Battalion of the OHL. In those three games in 2013-14, Cormier would post his best numbers (0.72 goals-against-average and a .967 save percentage). He’d become a full-time Battalion player the following season but was ultimately traded to Saginaw. Last year he appeared in 58 games for the Spirit winning 21 contests. So far this season he’s got a sub-par goals-against-average despite having an average save percentage. So far through his career, Cormier has 41 wins a .893 save percentage with a 3.48 goals-against-average to go along with five shutouts.
RW/C, Halifax (QMJHL)
Maxime Fortier would split the 2013-14 season between the QMAAA and the QMJHL. He’d only post one point that year in three games, though. But since then Fortier has been climbing in the league averaging more than a point-per-game. This year he’s having the best of his career with 49 points in only 29 games played. And to date, he’s put up 157 points in 163 games, that’s a 0.96 points-per-game average.
C/RW, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)
Blake Speers is a serious player and he’s also expected to make Team Canada this year for the World Junior Championship. A product of the Sault Ste. Marie bantam program, Speers was drafted by the Soo Greyhounds of the OHL in 2013. To date he’s played four years with the club scoring 181 points so far in 188 career games, that’s a 0.96 points-per-game average. He’s also played three games in the NHL this year before being sent back down to Major Junior.
RW, Saint John (QMJHL)
After a slow start in his first two years in the QMJHL, Mathieu Joseph has finally found his footing in the league. Last year he set a career high in points with 73. And so far this season he’s got 43 points in 28 games. Mathieu is expected to eclipse last year’s statistical output if he keeps his current pace. Another Team Canada possible for the World Junior tournament he’s scored 169 points in 175 career games so far, posting a 0.97 points-per-game average.
D, Shawinigan (QMJHL)
The CHL has a history of producing high-quality defenseman, and Samuel Girard is one of them. So far in his three years with Shawinigan of the QMJHL, Girard has put up very respectable numbers. And to date, he’s got 152 points in 154 games. Not quite a point-per-game rate, but close enough at 0.99.
CHL Player Rankings: Max Jones poses for a photo after being selected as the number twenty-four overall draft pick by the Anaheim Ducks in the first round of the 2016 NHL Draft at the First Niagra Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
G, Moose Jaw (WHL)
After his final year in AAA, Zachary Sawchenko was selected by the Moose Jaw Warriors in the WHL. And he’s managed to stick it out for the club during the last four years. While his best season came last year, he’s on pace to pass those numbers this year. And to date, he’s got 67 wins in 141 games. To go with those wins he also has a career 3.23 goals-against-average, a .905 save percentage with six shutouts.
C, Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL)
Not too many people know of this Latvian speedster, Rodrigo Abols has flown under the radar during his career so to speak. After playing for Dinamo Riga of the KHL (equivalent to the NHL), Rodrigo also spent time that season with the MHL before coming to North America. And when he did, he was taken in the first round by the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL. He’d spend one and a half seasons there before being traded to the QMJHL’s Acadie-Bathurst Titans. In the WHL he put up 50 points in 64 games, and so far in the “Q” he’s got 17 points in 17 games. That’s a point-per-game average for the young Latvian forward who’s expected to set a career high in points.
LW/C, Kingston (OHL)
After spending his entire career in the United States, Warren Foegele was selected by the Kingston Frontenacs in the 7th round of the priority draft. And since then, he’s been dynamite for the Frontenacs. In his first year, he scored 48 points in 52 games, a season that was also split with the Univ. Of New Hampshire. This year he’s put up more than a point-per-game scoring 24 points in 20 games. His career numbers, 72 points in 72 games, a career 1.00 points-per-game average.
LW, London (OHL)
Anyone who follows hockey knows who Max Jones is. Drafted in 2014 by the London Knights of the OHL, Max has been dynamic for the team helping them reach a lot of league success. And he’s only been in the league for two years. During those two years, Max has played in 78 games scoring 40 goals and 78 points. Another player tied with a 1.00 points-per-game average.
C, Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL)
Another top prospect, Antoine Morand has scored more points than games played every season in every league that he’s played in. And in his two years in the QMJHL for Acadie-Bathurst, Morand has also scored 78 points in 78 games, the exact same output as number 37’s Max Jones.
G, Oshawa (OHL)
You guessed it, the son of legendary goalie Martin Brodeur, so it’s no surprise that Jeremy is also an outstanding netminder. After being selected in the 8th round by the Oshawa Generals in the OHL, Jeremy Brodeur has been showing why he could have gone much, much sooner. In his first year, he posted a 2.47 goals-against-average and a .900 save percentage. Two years later (this year), he’s posted a 2.48 goals-against-average with a .921 save percentage. So he’s definitely having a career season. And speaking of career, his numbers are fantastic throughout the last three. He’s won 51 times in 90 games, as well as posting a 2.72 goals-against-average and a .908 save percentage with 10 shutouts.
C, Chicoutimi (QMJHL)
Nicolas Roy is a deadly player and another Team Canada hopeful this year for the World Juniors. Selected first overall in the first round in 2013 by Cape Breton of the QMJHL, Roy has taken the league by storm even though he was traded to Chicoutimi before he even touched the ice. But that didn’t affect him as he’s played four years for the Sagueneens upping his season totals every year. And to date, Nicolas has 218 points in 218 games. Yet another player tied with a 1.00 points-per-game average.
C/RW, Red Deer (WHL)
After spending the entire 2014-15 season between three different levels of hockey in the Czech Republic. Michael Spacek finally made his North American debut after being drafted by Red Deer in 2015. And in his first season, he managed to score 54 points in 61 games, this year, however, has been going along much, much better. So far Michael has notched 38 points in 28 games and is highly expected to eclipse last year’s totals. During his two-year career thus far in the WHL, Spacek has 92 points in 89 games. That’s a 1.03 points-per-game average.
C/LW, Kitchener (OHL)
After a slow start in his first year scoring just 29 points in 62 games. Adam blew up the Kitchener Rangers the following season scoring 81 in 65 games. So far through this season, he’s got 48 points in 27 games. Adam’s projected to be in the top five for scoring in the OHL this year. And his career points-per-game (1.03) suggests he may even lead. He’s got a career total of 158 points in 154 games.
C, Moose Jaw (WHL)
Another Moose Jaw Warrior and maybe the best of them all, Noah Gregor is more than a fantastic player. He’s dynamic and explosive. Despite only playing 10 games in his first season in the WHL, Gregor scored six points. However, the next year, Noah jumped up to 73 points in 72 games. And with the math, he’s going to pass those numbers since he’s put up 35 points in only 28 games. Thus making his career points-per-game average currently 1.04 with 114 points in 110 games.
CHL Player Rankings: Sam Steel puts on a team jersey after being selected as the number thirty overall draft pick by the Anaheim Ducks in the first round of the 2016 NHL Draft at the First Niagra Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
G, Kingston (OHL)
Jeremy Helvig was selected in the third round of the OHL priority draft by Kingston back in 2013. His rookie season was pretty brutal, a 4.55 goals-against-average and a .862 save percentage. However, last year and so far this year have been fantastic for the American-born goalie. And to date, he’s got 33 wins in 64 games with a 2.79 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage to go with five shutouts.
RW, Erie (OHL)
The Raddysh brothers are fantastic players, but Taylor is on a whole other level. His offensive skills are outstanding. His first season in the OHL didn’t go as planned only scoring 27 points in 58 games. But it’s the years that followed that changed his image in the league, last season Taylor notched 73 points in 67 games and so far this year he has 61 points in 28 games. 61 points in 28 games, if he keeps putting up numbers at that rate he’s going to score well over 120. And so far through his three-year career with Erie, he’s got 161 points in 153 games. That’s good enough for a career 1.05 points-per-game average.
C/RW, Kelowna (WHL)
This list is filled with Team Canada hopefuls, and Nick Merkley is no exception. Expected to make the squad this season, there’s no reason to think otherwise. A highly skilled hard working center is something every team needs. Taken in the first round of 2012 by Kelowna, Merkley has stuck is out with the organization his entire career. And to date has put up 217 points in 206 games played, averaging 1.05 points-per-game.
C, Windsor (OHL)
There’s no one in the OHL or CHL for that matter as physically imposing as Logan Brown. Mature beyond his years is why Niagara selected him 6th overall in 2014, he’d never play for them, though. His last three years have been spent with the Windsor Spitfires where he’s had a pretty successful career. His highest output came last season when he scored 74 points in 59 games. So far through this season, Logan’s tallied up 21 points in 15 games. This brings his career total to date to 138 points in 130 games, good enough for a 1.06 points-per-game average.
C, Regina (WHL)
Sam Steel is an incredibly gifted forward, he split the 2013-14 year between the AAA and Regina of the WHL. During his time with Regina, Sam only played five games and didn’t score a single point. However, the following season he did put up 54 points in 61 games. The next year would be his highest since he almost registered a point a game getting 70 in 72. And this year he’s most likely going to beat that output from last year since he has 46 points through 22 games. His four years in the WHL has equaled to 170 points in 160 games and a 1.06 points-per-game average.
G, Windsor (OHL)
Even though Michael has only played two seasons in the OHL, he’s been quite successful. DiPietro has been a starter for Windsor since coming into the league and his numbers have been fantastic. Through 48 career games, Michael has won 28 of them, posting a 2.44 goals-against-average and a .913 save percentage. He also has three shutouts.
RW, London (OHL)
J.J. Piccinich is another standout for the London Knights. Now that Matthew Tkachuk and Mitchell Marner are gone, Piccinich is stepping into a much bigger role and doing so nicely. Drafted in 2012 by London, Piccinich wouldn’t make his OHL debut until the 2015-16 season where he scored 66 points in 66 games. And so far through this year he’s got 32 points in 25 games. This brings his career total to 98 points in 91 games with a career points-per-game average of 1.08.
C/LW, Gatineau (QMJHL)
Selected 32nd overall in the CHL import draft in 2014, Yakov Trenin has been more than a point-per-game player in the QMJHL every season. Expected to make the Russian World Junior roster, which is no surprise, Trenin is an outstanding force for Gatineau. So far through his career, he has 150 points in 137 games to go along with a 1.09 points-per-game average.
C, Drummondville (QMJHL)
Despite being taken in the 6th round of the QMJHL entry draft, Alex Barre-Boulet definitely doesn’t play like it. A highly skilled forward who’s small and streaky makes him capable of putting up a plethora of points, which he’s done his whole career. His highest output would come last season when he tallied 89 points in 65 games. And so far this year he’s got 35 points in 28 games, showing Drummondville and the rest of the “Q” he could have gone much sooner. His career totals are also very impressive as he has 175 points in 161 games, which equals out to a 1.09 points-per-game average.
LW, Kamloops (WHL)
Last year Rudolfs Balcers spent the season in Norway with the Stavanger Oilers putting up 24 points in 43 games. This is his first year in North America and he’s already producing at more than a point-per-game pace. He’s got 33 points in 30 games which equals to a 1.10 points-per-game average.
CHL Player Rankings: Pierre-Luc Dubois puts on a team jersey after being selected as the number three overall draft pick by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round of the 2016 NHL Draft at the First Niagra Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
G, Owen Sound (OHL)
Expected to be one of Team Canada’s three goalies this year for the World Junior Championships. It’s no surprise why Michael McNiven is on this list. A very consistent goalie, McNiven has been one of the top goalies in the CHL since coming into the league back in 2014-15 with the Owen Sound Attack. This year, McNiven is having the best season of his career with a 2.47 goals-against-average and a .913 save percentage. Surprisingly his career numbers are even better. Possessing 50 wins in 99 games with six shutouts combined with a 2.80 goals-against-average and a .907 save percentage.
LW, Shawinigan (QMJHL)
Half American and half Russian, Dennis Yan spent his junior career in the United States before being drafted 8th overall in 2014. He would start his CHL career that same year playing for Shawinigan of the QMJHL. And in doing so, scoring more than a point-per-game every season. This is his third year and to date, he’s got 27 points in 25 games played. With his other two years included he’s got 160 points in 146 games, that’s a 1.10 points-per-game average.
C/LW, Spokane (WHL)
Kailer Yamamoto has done his fair share of bouncing between the WHL and the USDP (United States Development Program) the last two years. But while doing so, Kailer has still managed to put up some amazing numbers in the CHL. Jumping from 57 points in 2014-15 to 71 in 2015-16, he currently has 33 points in 22 games this year. This brings his career numbers to 161 points in 147 games, that’s a 1.10 points-per-game average, pretty impressive for a guy switching between leagues the past two years.
C/RW, Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL)
Beaudin spent two years in the QMAAA program before being selected by Rouyn-Noranda in 2013. His first QMJHL season would be split between the QMAAA and the QMJHL where he would only play four games not scoring a single point. However, the following season he would become a mainstay for the Huskies scoring more than 50 points, and the success didn’t stop there. Last year saw an increase of 30+ points. And throughout this year, Beaudin has 38 points in 26 games, which means he’ll most likely pass last year’s output. He’s currently sitting pretty with 173 points in 156 games which wield’s a 1.11 points-per-game average.
C/RW, Moncton (QMJHL)
Even though Manuel was loaned to Moncton of the QMJHL last season, and he managed to stick it out for 54 games scoring 64 points. He’s also been loaned to the Wildcats this season once again and so far through 27 games Manuel has 27 points. Which gives him a career total of 91 points in 81 games. That’s a 1.12 career points-per-game average in the QMJHL, not bad for a player who’s been a loaner.
G, London (OHL)
One of the backbones to London’s recent success in the OHL and CHL as a whole is goaltender Tyler Parsons. While serving as a 1A-1B starter the last two seasons, Parsons has taken the reigns as a full-time number one starter this year. He also has 61 career wins in 95 games. And in those 95 games, Parsons has six shutouts with a 2.70 goals-against-average and a .915 save percentage.
LW/RW, Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL)
A shoe in for the Latvian World Junior team this year, Martins Dzierkals is a very skilled player. He made his North American debut last season with Rouyn-Noranda scoring 67 points in 59 games. This year he’s done quite good as well tallying 27 points in 22 games. Which makes his career numbers in the QMJHL 94 points in 81 games played. And in those 81 games, Martins has a 1.16 points-per-game average.
LW/RW, Regina (WHL)
A strong and intelligent player, Filip Ahl finally made his transition to North America this season after spending his career in Sweden. Taken in the first round of the 2016 CHL import draft, Ahl has been on a hot streak all season tallying up 31 points in 26 games played. Which is good enough for a 1.19 points-per-game so far this season.
C/W, Cape Breton (QMJHL)
One of last year’s biggest draft prospects, Pierre-Luc Dubois is absolutely fantastic. He’s been a leader as well as a dynamite forward in every league he’s played in. Last year in 62 games played, he was one point shy of hitting 100. Which is something he may do this year? Through 136 career games in the “Q” for Cape Breton, Dubois has 162 points. That makes for an outstanding 1.19 points-per-game average. If you want to catch this all-star in the making, go see the World Junior tournament this year since he’s 100% expected to make Team Canada.
RW/LW, Charlottetown (QMJHL)
An elite level talent, Daniel Sprong has been tearing it up in the QMJHL the last four years. His highest season output would come during the 2014-15 season when he had 88 points in 68 games. Last year he would play in 18 NHL games for Pittsburgh scoring two goals before being sent back down to Charlottetown. This year due to injury he has yet to play a game in the “Q” but even with that in mind, Sprong still has a 1.20 points-per-game average. Cause he has 202 points in 168 career games.
CHL Player Rankings: Alex DeBrincat #12 of the Erie Otters skates during an OHL game against the Niagara IceDogs at the Meridian Centre on February 28, 2016 in St Catharines, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
G, Kamloops (WHL)
Another solid netminder who will be playing for Team Canada at the World Juniors, Connor Ingram has been fantastic since joining the WHL in 2014-15. He’s currently having his best statistical season this year for Kamloops with a 2.12 goals-against-average and a .935 save percentage. Connor has 69 career wins in 137 career games with nine shutouts. He also posses’ a career 2.65 goals-against-average and a .918 save percentage.
Selected in the first round of the 2014 CHL import draft, Filip Chlapik made an instant impression in his first year in North America. He would score 75 points in 64 games for Charlottetown of the QMJHL. Next year he dropped in production but still averaged more than a point-per-game. And this year he’s most likely going to reach or even pass his 75 point mark from two years ago since he has 44 points in 26 games. His career statistics are just amazing with 173 points in 142 games, which equals to a 1.22 points-per-game average.
The number one ranked player in the world, Nolan Patrick currently sits at number eight on this list. Selected 4th overall in 2013 by the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL, Nolan has been turning heads ever since. As well as putting up 102 points in 72 games last season. This year injuries have derailed his play quite a bit but he’s still over a point-a-game. So far through his three and a half year WHL career, Patrick has 168 points in 136 games with a 1.24 points-per-game average.
One of the most complete players on this list, Mathew Barzal is an exceptional hockey player. Taken first overall in 2012 by Seattle in the WHL draft, Barzal has spent his entire WHL career with Seattle putting up tremendous numbers year in and year out. This year he even managed to play two games with the New York Islanders before being sent back down. And that move has sparked his game, cause so far he’s put up 19 points in 12 games. And his career totals are much better, 218 points to be exact in 173 games played for a 1.26 points-per-game average. He’s also expected to make Team Canada as well this year for the World Juniors.
LW/C, Moose Jaw (WHL)
The 63rd ranked player in the world, Brayden Burke was chosen by Red Deer in the 2012 WHL draft. But he’d only spend half a year with the club before being traded to Lethbridge. With the Hurricanes though is where he shined as a player putting up 109 points in his first full season with the club. This year he’s managed 23 points in 15 games, but yet again he was dealt, this time to Moose Jaw. And so far through eight games with the Warriors, Burke has 11 points. His career totals are also very respectable playing in a total of 139 games scoring 177 points, which is good for a 1.27 points-per-game average.
The bonafide starter for Team Canada this year at the World Juniors, Carter Hart is easily the best goalie in the CHL. This year alone he has a 1.76 goals-against-average and a .932 save percentage through 23 games. He’s spent the last four years with the team that drafted him in the WHL, and that’s the Everett Silvertips. His career numbers are much, much better as well. He’s got 68 wins in 118 games, 14 shutouts, a 2.11 goals-against-average and a .920 save percentage.
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RW/LW, Gatineau (QMJHL)
Despite his talents, Abramov is expected to at least play one more year in the QMJHL before making his jump to the NHL. Selected in the first round in 2015 by the Gatineau Olympiques, the Russian star hasn’t had any trouble in the North American game. His first year, which came last year he scored 93 points in 63 games. And so far this year he’s got 31 through 27, which brings his career total to 124 points in 94 games. That’s solid enough for an outstanding 1.38 points-per-game.
Jeremy Bracco spent his whole entire hockey career in the United States before coming to the OHL in the 2013 priority draft. While last season was split between Boston College of the NCAA and the Kitchener Rangers, Bracco still managed to score 64 points in 49 games with the Rangers. And this year he’s on absolute fire with 50 points through the first 25 games of the year for Kitchener. He’s also expected to play for Team U.S.A. at the World Juniors this year, where he should have a significant impact. So far through his OHL career, Jeremy’s got 114 points in 74 games. Which is at a staggering 1.54 points-per-game average.
Dylan Strome is an absolute star, the only question is, can he still put up career numbers without Connor McDavid? The answer is yes. He’s way too talented not to, and this year he was able to stick it out for seven games with Arizona before being sent back down. And in those seven games Strome registered one assist. However, back in the OHL, Dylan has 16 points so far in only seven games with Erie. He’s another player on this list that will be playing for Team Canada this year. And his career numbers are quite impressive as well, to say the least. 295 points in 191 games also possessing the same points-per-game average as Jeremy Bracco (1.54).
Yes, you’re surprised, but you’ll see here in a second. Despite McDavid leaving Erie as well as Dylan Strome, DeBrincat has still managed to take control of the team and put up amazing numbers. His first year in the OHL? 104 points in 68 games. His second year in the OHL? 101 points in 68 games. This year so far, 58 points in 27 games, 58 points in 27 games, expect him to break the 100 point mark yet again. Which means to date he currently holds a career total of 263 points in 155 games. And to go along with those amazing statistics, he’s got a career 1.70 points-per-game average. The highest of any player on this list, which is why he’s number one. Also don’t be surprised when he carries Team U.S.A in the World Juniors this year.